Monday, May 6, 2013



To gain in-depth understanding of farm mechanization, a 16-member delegation from African countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zimbabwe visited the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The delegation, led by Er. Saidi Mkomwa, Executive Secretary, African Conservation Tillage Network; comprises farm manufacturers and scientists from national systems and farm universities. The visit is a part of two-week "Training-cum-Study Tour on Farm Mechanization for African Stakeholders," led by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under a tripartite collaboration amongst ICAR, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

In his welcome address, Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, COAE&T, said that farm mechanization plays a key role in agriculture. Highlighting the success story of laser land lever technology in the Punjab state, he told that this technique helps in the uniform application of water, levels the fields precisely, and saves irrigation water upto 30 per cent. Presenting an overview of the organizational set-up of the College and highlighting the key accomplishments, Dr Lubana said that the PAU conducts training, on different aspects of agri-engineering, at state as well as at the national level.

Dr J.S. Mahal, Additional Director of Research (Farm Mechanization and Bio-energy), said, "The scientific interaction amongst the experts and delegation members should result into fruitful outcome so that the mechanization skills, applied in Punjab, can be effectively used in African countries as well."

Earlier, the Head of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering Department, Dr Gursahib Singh said that the spraying technologies for horticultural crops, equipment for precision farming, and wheat and paddy mechanization are some of the future thrust areas. He divulged that the production of cotton, maize, and sugarcane, in the Punjab state, is nearly 2.23 million bales, 0.46 million tonnes and 0.51 million tonnes, respectively. He gave a detailed presentation on the "Introduction to Farm Machinery Developments."

Dr H.S. Sidhu, Senior Research Engineer, CIMMYT, Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), Ludhiana; stated, "The involvement of scientists, manufacturers, and farmers is vital for the success and development of farm machinery." He informed that the delegation visited BISA, Ladhowal, wherein the epxerts demonstrated conservation agricultural practices and related machinery, in addition to water management trial on spring maize, direct seeding of summer moong into wheat residue using happy seeder, and various other research trials.

Er. Saidi Mkomwa appreciated the PAU's research on farm machinery development and proposed the vote of thanks.

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